- Argentina have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World cup
- Messi's hat-trick was instrumental in his side qualification
- Argentina FA president shared an affectionate hug with Lionel Messi in celebration of their qualification
To many, Lionel Messi’s name will never be forgotten in Argentina’s history, after he was instrumental in helping the South American footballing nation secure World cup qualification.
With Argentina heading into their final World Cup qualifier against Ecuador staring elimination in the face, the whole nation were relying on the star captain to get them to Russia.
Messi turned the match and the whole qualification campaign on its head by scoring an incredible hat-trick to book Argentina’s plane ticket to Russia for next summer.
However, nobody will be more relieved than Argentina FA president, Claudio Tapia.
Tapia probably would have lost his job if Argentina failed to qualify for the World Cup. In fact, the AFA headquarters even had security barriers ready in case they didn’t beat Ecuador.
PAY ATTENTION: Get the latest Nigeria news on NAIJ.com mobile app
The FA president saw Messi coming up the steps and was clearly emotional as he embraced him for about 10 seconds and could barely contain his sheer joy
Tapia will be hoping Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli can now work hard in the build-up to the World Cup and improve on their lackluster performances during qualification.
Nigeria Super Eagles qualify for 2018 FIFA World cup - on NAIJ.com TV